A while back, I printed a chair. This chair was not really designed for desktop printing since there were a lot of crazy overhangs—areas that needs support material. Anybody with a desktop printer knows that removing support material is no fun. No fun at all.
- It slices very fast. This can save time if you need to make iterations.
- You have control over how to print specific parts of your model, and whether to add supports for specific parts of your model.
- It contains some rudimentary file fixing so you don’t need to carefully unify all your intersecting meshes.
- The support structures were rumored to come off quite easily.
The downside (there’s always a downside) is that the software costs $140. But given all the trouble I had with slicing and support removal, I decided to give it a go.
I was not disappointed.
The supports were so easily removed. I just gave it a slight tug and the whole thing unravels. It’s like pulling yarn!
Unfortunately, I still managed to snap off the itty bitty legs of this chair. The support material you see in the photo above actually supports both the underside and the handles of the chair. So pulling it applied too much pressure on the bottom legs.
This is where my favorite feature of Simplify3D comes in to save the day! I can select exactly where I want support material. So I repositioned the support and basically told the printer to generate separate support for the bottom seat cushion part, and separate support for the arm rests.
The support was so lightly touching the bottom of the seat cushion that I was able to separate the chair for the block of support material when removing the chair from the printbed!
But now the real test! How to remove support from the armrests while keeping those itty bitty legs in tact.
I had to be careful, but it was actually quite easy to to. As you can see, the support just peeled right off. I didn’t even have to use an Xacto knife.
And the final results…
I printed this using 0.2mm resolution, which is a bit on the rough side for something this small. You can see the steps on the arm rests pretty clearly. When I have some more time, I think I’m going to try this print at 0.1mm resolution and see how that improves the final print. I hear there’s an option to print the outer layer at one resolution, and the inner infills at another resolution. That way you get the smoothness on the outside without increasing your print time so much.
I look forward to keep trying different things with my new printer and slicer. Keep you posted!